With my attendant, Fluff-Fluff the cat.
Where I Web-Garden

This week I have been very weather-sensible. I was supposed to be on a five day trip in the big mountains, hiking the St James Walkway. But the rivers were 'up', one bridge was 'down', and there were eleven slips on the first day of the track. Hmm... Next summer, maybe? Anyway, there's lots of gardening to do before winter arrives.

Monday 6th May

Web-gardening only today - I'm snug in the house doing web-work with Fluff-Fluff the cat supervising. He needs to be as close to me as is felinely possible, so he has his own stool to sit on. It's raining hard outside, too much for even a dog-walk.

I'm sorting through my older photographs, saddened by so many cat-pictures of Little Mac (I miss you, little one) and amazed by the roses (colour, colour, colour). My gardening life is complete - I can tour my own garden without setting a foot outside and getting wet!

Meet my Gnomes :
If you are at all interested in gnome-peeping, click carefully on this YouTube link.

And guess what? I've uploading more videos onto YouTube - this time it's the turn of the garden gnomes. Sorry about that. My most popular video so far has featured my two bright orange river pumps. I'm sure my gnomes can do better, even if they don't rotate in water - well, not intentionally.

Tuesday 7th May

Stormy weather... Last night in the cottage everything roared. My cat Minimus and I were snug within, listening to the clatter of rain on the roof and the whooshing of the big trees. Just the tiniest thought - please will no branches blow down on us! And another thought - I'm glad I'm not in the mountains worrying about river crossings. All I have to cross is Pond Paddock to get to my warm house!

 Eek! Wet paws!
Fluff-Fluff Cat in the Rain

Puddle Photography?

OK. How about some photographs of puddles? Hmm... I'll poke my camera out the door and see what I get. I might even trick Fluff-Fluff to pose for me. Tomorrow my friend and I are going hiking, over the hills and far away (well, down to a deserted beach). Autumn is allowed to be atmospheric, but we'd appreciate a dry lunch spot!

Thursday 9th May

This morning I've lit the log burner - I'll stay inside until the outdoors temperature warms up enough. It's all to do with gardening digital dexterity (which malfunctions at one degree Celsius). One degree? That's why the back house lawn is vaguely white. But the sky is beautifully blue.

Yesterday's hike was interesting. Our proposed route, the Tiromoana walkway, was closed for 'pest control', so as an alternative I suggested a long beach saunter to a distant headland. The shingle underfoot would be hard work, but beaches are by nature flat, and our legs would get a reasonable work-out. Oh yes? After only fifteen minutes we were stopped in our tracks a by raging brown river mouth. Oops! This was a complete surprise - I'm certain the river wasn't there last time I did this walk. So we retreated inland, spending a rather leisurely but enjoyable day on nondescript rural back roads.

The Explanation!

Aha! My friend can explain the appearance of that mysterious river. Apparently the Waipara River hardy ever reaches the sea. But there was a sudden and enormous spike, around midday on Tuesday 7th May, when its flow rate went up from 1 cumec to about 14. And so it broke through the shingle bank, just about when we arrived. What a hoot.

 Wet, wet, wet.
Puddles on the Patio

+5Back to today. I've already fed Lilli-Puss in her cat lounge, a real hot spot in the morning sun. Lilli loves her armchairs, and makes sleeping nests underneath the woolly afghans. It is so nice to have an appreciative barn cat! I've put some of my ornamental cat plates up along the shelf for her, and my friend is embroidering her a cat picture. As one does...


I've been stern with myself. I wasn't allowed to come in for lunch until all the wet ash from the bonfire had been mixed with thirteen bags of horse manure and spread out on the garden. As usual, a simple repetitive task seemed to take me ages and ages. On each return trip I had a barrowful of dry gum rubbish for burning, so I was multi-tasking... OK, back on with the gardening boots, then, and off to plant some of those Agapanthus which are snoozing in the trailer. Then a bit of a dance around the bonfire, I think.

 Wet, wet, wet!
Late Autumn from the Upstairs Window

Much Later...

I feel sooooooooo good. When I finish my work about four o'clock I know that I've got somewhere... Ha! Two more clumps of Agapanthus divided and planted, lots of leaf mould (purists probably wouldn't recognise it as such) and horse manure spread around with the ash, the new season's oak leaves raked up and bagged (six bags, more to go) - and a successful, efficient bonfire, with a whooshing of flame (and a little smoke). It only remains to clean my fingernails before I go off to jazz choir practice.

Friday 19th May

Aha! Another southerly storm peppered the cottage with rain overnight. There's snow on some of the lower hills. My dog and I have already been for a walk (my fancy goose-down jacket got a bit wet). Later this afternoon I plan to rake up more autumn leaves to keep warm.

 These are on Duck Lawn.
More Oak Leaves to Rake Up

I'm glad I stayed home this week. The mountains will wait.